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  • Writer's pictureKaveh Jalinous

The Shape Of Water (2017): Film Review

This review was filed from the Chicago International Film Festival.

It's been a month since I saw Guillermo Del Toro's newest film The Shape of Water. I was lucky enough to get tickets to the Chicago Film Festival's closing night, and was able to see the film a month and a half before it's wide release in theatres. So, I have had more than enough time to think about how I wanted to write this review, what points I wanted to highlight, and why I think The Shape Of Water will be nominated, but will not win, the Oscar for Best Picture. You can't put a genre on The Shape of Water. On the surface, it's a fantasy film, but as the film goes on, it gets deeper, and it becomes more of a combination of action, comedy, and drama. And, that's one of the brilliant parts of the film. It can take a story of a cleaning lady in a government-funded laboratory, and create a love story between her and a monster with constant action, a great script, and surprisingly funny undertones. But, as good as The Shape Of Water is, I just don't understand why there is all this hype of "the best movie of the year" surrounding this is. Sure, I thought the film was good, good enough to be nominated for an Oscar, but not nearly good enough to win. And that's exactly what's going to happen. It will be nominated, but with films such as The Florida Project and Lady Bird in the running, there is minimal chance that it will win. The story starts off with so much energy, and by two-thirds of the movie, it starts to fade away. The film starts to drag on, and become sort of a bore. Luckily, the film knows when to stop, and ends at the perfect scene, but the point is: it was very close to reaching it. Also, the film is present with loads of unnecessary scenes, which kind of take away from the raw originality of the film. One second the audience is watching an amazing and entertaining the scene, the next: an scene with nothing to do with the plot, with no humor, action, or meaning whatsoever. And that's about all that's bad with the film, but those two things heavily affect the film. The best part of the film is the fact that there is nothing like it. Del Toro pushes into new boundaries, with a film completely different from his others, and any film ever. The film is full of action, anchored by amazing performances from Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, and Octavia Spencer. The script is amazing, which provides an amazing plot that lets the three main actors act to their full potential, which works very well in their favors. Overall, The Shape of Water has its setbacks, but the film pushes past those and creates a film full with all the aspects of a great film.


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